Space Technology and Human SecurityThis paper disscusses the use of space technology, focussing on its military applications. The emphasis is on the political and ethical aspects. Space technology is exercising a revolutionary impact not only on our way of life but also in the military field. It does not only comprise a variety of satellites and sensors - serving both civilian and military goals. Countless are the peaceful applications but it cannot be denied that it could also become a nightmare, creating hell on earth. Whether that will happen or not depends on the development of new thinking about peace and security. Of particular relevance here is the National Security Strategy of the United States, which reflects in words and spirit an attitude of unilateralism. Nonetheless there is a widespread indifference among the public and slackness of many governments to envisage the ominous consequences of the weaponization in space. The present lack of foresight confronts us with an odd paradox: an unprecedented level of military expenditures not leading to more security but to a greater insecurity. A new security concept is required of which conscious efforts to foster peace should be the core.
The technologies we have developed and are developing are not neutral and innocent. In relation to this the paper concludes with ethical considerations. The emphasis is here not on good intentions, however laudable these may be, but on responsible action. This requires institutions, international agreements and a well-developed sense of ethical responsibility among politicians, diplomats, managers and scientist.